As a Midwest-native, one might think that I have become accustomed to the change in seasons; particularly the transition from the comfortably crisp fall air to the bitter cold winter months, however that is not the case. Rather, a combination of time and education has taught me that winter is inevitable, and it is a better use of my time to not only accept the winter months, but additionally take advantage of them before they take advantage of me. Here are a couple of tips I have found useful and would like to share upon the season of giving:
This past week, we had the pleasure to speak with Brian Fell, Activities Director (AD) at Mankato West High School. Brian has served as the AD at Mankato West for the past three years. Prior to his arrival at Mankato West, Brian worked as the AD at multiple schools for a total of 11 years. Mankato West High School has been a big supporter of our work at the Center for Sport and Performance Psychology, and we appreciate Brian, the coaches at Mankato West, and all of the school administrators who played a part in the decision to begin and continue working with the Center over the years.
As the activities director, Brian has a unique perspective on the work that we have done with Mankato West High School. To understand this perspective, we sat down with Brian and asked him several questions about the school’s experience working with the Center.
The questions and responses below are not direct quotations, but rather a summarized version of our conversation with Brian.
Dakota Gillmore and Kayla McCormick share six tips for making it through the holidays with less stress.
The holiday season is here and with it we can expect a lot of good times with family and friends, along with a few headaches sprinkled in. There is no question that this can be a stressful time of year, but thankfully we have put together a few tips for you to get through the holiday season happy and healthy!
Ever since I hung up my track spikes and was officially done with competing in collegiate sport as a runner, I had to learn to navigate (and am still learning) new roles and identities and balance those with trying to continue running for recreation. It was a drastic change for me to focus more on my role as a graduate student and less on competitive running. This led me to think about other situations that might be prevalent in society in regards to runners and having to navigate these same challenges. This got me thinking about a very time consuming, demanding role.. mothers! We’ve all seen mother-runners in some way.. they’re out on the roads with their strollers, bringing their kids along to races or even incorporating them as part of the work out. How do they do it? What allows them to balance their lives and embrace a new identity as a new mother? Is there something that sets these women apart from the ones who stop running or exercising entirely? I dove into the literature and see what I could find. Not surprisingly, most research on runners has been conducted on very few elite mother-runners at the Olympian level. Hmm.. this doesn’t really generalize to all of those recreational moms.. Although the literature was a great starting point, I’m now in the process of conducting a study on mothers who run recreationally to identify characteristics that might describe how they balance multiple roles, how they identify as a mother and a runner, and also their motivation to run and self-efficacy as a runner. If we can find what sets the ones who continue and thrive apart from the ones who struggle (i.e. maybe it’s a healthy life-sport balance or perhaps social support from others), we can know how to support and encourage mothers who wish to continue their running and exercise. I’m hoping that this research can be helpful and inform society about what the challenges may be prevalent for recreational mother-runners, and to reinforce that it is possible to continue to run or exercise given the findings we might see. Stay tuned to see how it all turns out!